Fighting hunger in Oklahoma

ECI Insurance needs your vote by October 31 to win $10,000 for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Read about their amazing dedication to leading the fight against hunger in central and western Oklahoma. Then vote for them by using the social media share buttons or by leaving a comment when you reach the end of their story.

Since opening its first warehouse in 1980, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has pursued a single purpose: providing meals to Oklahomans living with hunger. Over the years it has expanded its reach well beyond Oklahoma City to become the largest hunger-relief 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the state.

Most of those the Regional Food Bank serves are chronically hungry children, seniors living on limited incomes and families struggling to make ends meet. The Regional Food Bank distributes on average 50 million pounds of food a year to more than 1,300 community-based organizations that collaborate to distribute the food in 53 counties across central and western Oklahoma.

 

Steady growth over four decades

According to the USDA, Oklahoma is currently the fourth hungriest state in the nation, with 14.7% of the state’s households experiencing hunger.

The situation was equally dire four decades ago, when a group of concerned Oklahoma City citizens formed a task force to tackle the problem of rampant hunger. The group ended up founding the Regional Food Bank, opening its first 10,000-square-foot warehouse in the middle of what is now Scissortail Park in downtown Oklahoma City.

The Regional Food Bank almost immediately saw demand outstripping its capacity – particularly when it came to food storage. It responded by expanding its space in stages, introducing a second 14,000-square-foot warehouse in 1981 and a 37,000-square-foot headquarters in 1987. In 2000, the organization moved to a brand new 90,000-square-foot distribution center.

 

“We had to shift into disaster mode when the pandemic began, knowing not only that there’d be a greater demand for services, but that we needed to integrate public health measures into our work to keep everyone safe.”

–Stacy Dykstra, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma CEO

 

Distributing food became increasingly vital – and challenging – during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had to shift into disaster mode when the pandemic began,” says the nonprofit’s CEO Stacy Dykstra, “knowing not only that there’d be a greater demand for services, but that we needed to integrate public health measures into our work to keep everyone safe.”

In April 2020, the Regional Food Bank distributed 6.2 million pounds of food, a new record for a single month.

 

Partnering with communities to deliver food – and hope

The Regional Food Bank doesn’t do it alone. Sourcing, storing and then distributing all this food involves the contributions of more than 100 employees, more than a thousand partnering organizations and an army of volunteers.

Piedmont-based ECI Insurance has repeatedly thrown its support behind the nonprofit’s cause, contributing food during drives and giving a helping hand when schedules allow. During its most recent day of volunteering, ECI staff helped prepare 3,252 meals for school children, seniors and those unable to leave their homes.

“The staff at the Regional Food Bank are always helpful and supportive,” says Kara Anderson, certified insurance service representative (CISR) at ECI. “Each volunteer experience has been gratifying and enlightening.”

That ability to guide and support volunteers and organizations serving its vision is what makes the Regional Food Bank so effective at not only addressing the most pressing need – getting food to residents who need it in central and western Oklahoma communities – but targeting the root causes of food insecurity.

 

“The staff at the Regional Food Bank are always helpful and supportive. Each volunteer experience has been gratifying and enlightening.”

– Kara Anderson, CISR at ECI

 

In 2012, for example, the Regional Food Bank launched its Food & Resource Center Program, which gives Oklahomans facing hunger the option to select the foods they want in a grocery-store-like setting while offering supportive services and other resources that can help them become more economically secure.

There are currently 15 of these Food & Resource Centers in 12 Oklahoma counties – filling pantries and connecting residents with resources for a brighter, more secure future.

 

Double the Regional Food Bank’s award

Help ECI Insurance win $10,000 for the Regional Food Bank by cheering them on with a comment below and sharing their story to social media using the buttons to the left!

If your agency volunteers with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, learn how you can win a Make More Happen Award here.

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Leah
25 days ago

Vote!

Ben
27 days ago

Let’s go ECI!!

Joseph Goodwin
28 days ago

Great organization!

Gene Knippers
28 days ago

Vote

Paul
28 days ago

This is an awesome cause. Thanks for all you do!

Jean
28 days ago

Vote

Jake
28 days ago

Vote!

Swinstead
28 days ago

Voted!

Pete
28 days ago

ECI

kimberley
28 days ago

Voted!!

Carey
28 days ago

Voted!

Tim
28 days ago

Voted! <3

Debra
28 days ago

Come on ECI! 🙂

Mark
28 days ago

Whoo hoooo!

tiffany
28 days ago

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Philip
28 days ago

#1!

Deeann
28 days ago

Voted! 🙂

Chris
28 days ago

Woot!

Amanda
28 days ago

ECI all the way

Vincent
28 days ago

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doug
28 days ago

ECI

Tay
28 days ago

Voted!!

Ruben
28 days ago

Lets go!

jason
28 days ago

Voted for ECI

Chris
28 days ago

Vote

Emily
28 days ago

Voted

Mina Baghvardani
29 days ago

Voted!

Phil King
29 days ago

You’ve got my vote

Rex Stachmus
29 days ago

Go ECI

Jessica Hassler
29 days ago

Voted!

Cameron Martin
29 days ago

Great job yall

Jane Stachmus
29 days ago

Love this!

Adriane Stachmus
29 days ago

Go ECI!

Adriane King
29 days ago

Voted!

Catherine
29 days ago

Voted! ❤️

Brad Helton
29 days ago

You have my vote!

Sean
29 days ago

lets do this!

Jo M
29 days ago

Go ECI!

Van
29 days ago

What a team. You got my vote! Let’s go ECI.

Jordan
29 days ago

am I 500? 😉

Ridgeway Debi
29 days ago

ECI is a great agency

Taylor
29 days ago

so close!

Mallory
29 days ago

get it!

Barbara
29 days ago

Proud to work with ECI

Jane
29 days ago

only 10 more votes!

josh
29 days ago

go

Laura
29 days ago

.

Kay
29 days ago

ECI makes me proud.

deb
29 days ago

thanks

Kati
29 days ago

voted!

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